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Perseverance: The #1 Quality of a Business Owner, with Leslie Kuster

Episode 136

Leslie Kuster is the CEO and Founder of Back from Bali, a clothing brand that offers women chic bohemian clothing ethically made in Bali. Leslie is also a business lifestyle mentor, entrepreneur, and author of “7 Keys to 7 Figures: The Women Entrepreneurs' Guide to Money and Freedom.” 


Raised by entrepreneurs, Leslie wasn’t encouraged to find a safe and steady corporate job but was taught to go out and create success on her own. At age 24, Leslie’s life changed when two pivotal events occurred: she worked her first corporate job, and her apartment was robbed. Antsy in an office and flush with an insurance payout, Leslie decided to travel. Her travels led her to Bali, where she fell in love with the people and the fashion. When her travels ended and she returned home to the US, she took a leap of faith and flew back to Bali with a business idea: work with Balinese producers to create women's clothing and sell it in the US. Her business, Back from Bali, was born.


Leslie established relationships with amazing vendors in Bali. Most of the artisans she works with are women- or family-owned businesses, and she ensures that her suppliers are paid fairly, which enables them to have autonomy and be in control of their futures. For the first 15 years, Back to Bali sustained a 5-figure annual income. Leslie experienced an internal shift and realized that she desired wealth and wanted to grow her business to a 6-figure business. How did she do it?


  1. She shifted her mindset: Though Leslie was a business owner, deep down, her inherent money mindset was that a man should be the primary breadwinner. She tackled her “Princess Tower” complex and owned her desire for wealth. 
  2. She focused her energy: Leslie headed two businesses during this pivotal shift. When her attention was split between two ventures, she was unfocused. Leslie reevaluated and concentrated her efforts on one business. 
  3. She committed to learning: You don’t know what you don’t know. Leslie was humble and worked with business coaches to challenge her to be her best. 


On this episode of Money Loves Women, join Dr. Deborah Ekstrom and Leslie Kuster to learn how anticipating setbacks and pursuing perseverance is key to being a business owner. You’ll also learn how Leslie overcame inherited money mindsets to grow her wealth and impact in her 50s. 


Topics Discussed:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Women’s Fashion
  • Manufacturing
  • Money stories
  • The “Princess Tower” Complex



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